Monday, April 9, 2012

Big Government is Making Boeing a Bad Actor

By Howard Rich

Last I year joined a pro-free market chorus in condemning Barack Obama’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) — which filed suit against aircraft manufacturer Boeing after the company dared to create new jobs in a Right-to-Work state.

“The Obama administration’s war against Boeing is indeed a war against jobs,” l wrote.

Too bad the company failed to show the same fighting spirit that thousands of limited government advocates demonstrated on its behalf.

Rather than standing up for its free market rights, Boeing instead chose to cut a deal with Obama’s union goons. The company’s surrender not only gave Big Labor the concessions it was seeking with regard to the company’s expansion plans — more importantly it preserved the NLRB’s ability to use such thuggish tactics in the future against other companies (which Obama signaled he was more than happy to do via his unconstitutional recess appointments to the NLRB).
Why did Boeing cave in the face of such a flagrant violation of its rights?

Perhaps that was the plan from the beginning. Remember Boeing is headquartered in Chicago and its executives gave Obama $197,000 in campaign contributions during his 2008 presidential campaign — five times as much money as the company gave the GOP nominee. Obama also named Boeing CEO Jim McNerney as the head of his Export Council.

In 2010, Boeing received $19.4 billion in government contracts – and in early 2011 it was awarded a $35 billion contract to design and build the Pentagon’s next generation air-refueling tanker. The company has also been cashing in on billions of dollars in subsidies doled out through the U.S. Export-Import Bank (a.k.a. the “Ex-Im Bank”) — a crony capitalist entity that authorizes loans to foreign companies.

Boeing benefited from $8.4 billion in Ex-Im loans in 2009, $6.4 billion in 2010 and $11.4 billion in 2011 — gobbling up the overwhelming majority of the bank’s lending capacity.

Obama and his allies are currently seeking a four-year reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank that would raise its lending capacity from $100 billion to $140 billion.
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